Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Hot Cars: 'Worse than Ever'

Via @warriorwriter

Last year, Metro rolled out the B.S. "Operation Cool Breeze" story about their response to the hot car "phenomenon."

This year, the initiative lacked a dumb title, but promised pretty much the same.

According to this WTOP report, Metro says "forty percent of condensers and evaporators on the 1000 series cars have been replaced, and 78 percent of condensers and evaporators on the 5000 series have been replaced."

Additionally, in April, the Washington Examiner reported Metro as saying they plan "to start work on the BREDA 2000 and 3000 series cars next week. It is nearly two-thirds of the way through a separate seasonal tune-up of all the cars, as well."

One li'l Stessel over at Metro, Cathy Asato, told the Examiner the following:
Last year, we saw a 23 percent reduction in HVAC issues across our fleet, but we are not resting on that success.
Sounds good right?

Not so fast.

"It's worse than it ever has been," said a Metro source with deep, specific knowledge of the hot car problem.

The source went on to say that while the engineering notion behind the fixes looked good on paper, "It's making things worse. We tell them, and they keep on doing it. It doesn't make any sense."

Of course, the word from the Metro Ministry of Truth is that there's really not much of a hot car problem at all. Dan Stessel told WTOP the number of hot cars numbers in the "low, single- digit percentage."

Most riders would probably scoff at that account. The hot car tracking site, had the number hovering well above 30 percent before the heat waves.

Metro likes to fly the excuse that when it gets to a certain temperature, the AC just can't keep up.

That's just not true. Yesterday, one of the hottest days of the year, the car I was in was cool and comfortable, even at the outdoor stations, and even with a crush load. The ACs can work in even the harshest conditions.

"The ACs should work better," said another inside source. "Something is not getting translated from engineering to the mechanics or the other way around. They're spending a lot of money and hours, but the fixes are just not working or someone is doing them wrong."

Other items:
Excellent op/ed from the Examiner
Ouch! (Examiner)
Metro's talent search angers local musicians (DCist)
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 Unported License.
Site Meter